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A First Official Trail Run

My first few batch of trail running experiences were during my childhood years in our province in Masbate, back in the early 90s. That was when the "Atom" hasn't been oriented yet by his first running mentor. Some of these were chasing for the horses, playing hide and seek with the buffaloes, pigs, chicken, and racing for my life against a mad cow (literally)! And one of the memorable trail experience that I had was when we were trading for some goods in exchange of a hybrid and untamed goat. Me and my younger cousin agreed on a bet on whoever loses in catching the choiced goat, he'll be the one to leash the goat going home. Weak and feeble as I am, I lost the bet! So on our way home, going down the mountain where we bartered our product, we didn't realize that the goat would race us downwards, where I ended up being pulled downhill while holding firm to its leash. If it's not for a rock half-buried on the ground that solidly hit my head, the goat would've pulled me straight to the very foot of the mountain where the streams are waiting for me to be washed down!

with MinnieRunner, Juvy, Mina, and Vicky

Having proven my trail track on the farm (lol), I've decided to take the adventure challenge of Merrell at Wawa Dam. MinnieRunner and her cousins Irish and Mina also opted to join or were actually forced to join since we don't have any other companion for the said race. We also tried to search for a place for an overnight stay near the venue, but was unlucky to find one. Fortunately, we've met some Angels from Agatep a few weeks before the event who warm-heartedly sponsored our ride going to and from the venue, and secured us a spot of VIP table together with the media, and some breakfast goodies before the race. All for an exchange of just waking up as early as 1:30 AM for us to be able to catch the ride.

Talking to MinnieRunner: "Madz, mananalo ako!"

The four of us are running our first time adventure trail run at a place where we haven't been yet. So few days before the event and even during the race itself, I can't help but to get worry about my all-girl companions, the injuries or accidents that might happen on the race, and how the race would turn out for us. But not giving them any hint of my worries, I just prayed and hoped that there won't be any accidents or injuries along the way, and no one would get lost among us.

The worker ants

Good heaven heard my prayers, except for the last one -- not getting lost on the trail. Well I guess that can't be helped since the marker ribbons where incorrectly placed (or as I have heard, there was an excess ribbon) which led us to the wrong route. I was following the lead packs of elite runners before we got lost, and on my count, I was on the fourth to fifth place until we lost our way. At the last marker, since we can't find any other succeeding ribbons nor directional markers within about 230 degree radius, and the Carabao marshalls are of no help in leading us to the right way, the lead runners decided to just go straight and downwards the hill leading to a dried up water stream. After around a few hundred meters of traversing straight the dried stream, we were able to catch up with the 3k racers going up the mountain where the other 5k runners are also looking for the right track.

So, where're the Marshalls and the markers?

Getting more confused about the route, I was like a stressed ant running back and forth for a few meters from some point of origin towards the groups of other 5k runners just to find the right way. When I finally found the directional markers for the 5k, It was then that I lost track of the lead runners who've been guiding us. So I decided to just follow the correct route that I found where a bunch of other 5k runners are already leading the way. But getting stressed with the wasted 15-20 minutes time from the lost route, I can't help but to look for some other ways to be able to overtake the bottlenecks along the single file of tracks. I also risked taking other longer route circling a bottleneck on one of the uphill single tracks.

Tired and stressed black and white ant, respectively

No runners yet at the Mahogany Park

Being lost was stressful and at the same time very much mind and physically challenging. And one of the route that I enjoyed were the jumps beside the cliffs, rappelling from the rocks, and the mahogany park where the fallen leaves added up to the challenge of getting a good balance while running downwards. It has definitely tested my balance, speed, strength, and agility that my lower back ended up aching for three days after the run. It was really fun nevertheless!

River crossing makes me want to dive in the waters

The last part of the adventure challenge was when I thought that I already have to dash for the finish line, but turns out, we still need to complete another kilometer of rock tumbling that has put me on my lowest energy level upon reaching the finish line.

It's not just trail running, it's also rock running!

The last kilometer of challenge

Sadly as it turned out, I was not able to catch up with the cut-off time of 1:10 for 5k category. Say it again, one hour and 10 minutes for a 5k race! I would really like to complain, but judging by the look of the organizer, he already seems much stressed with the complaints of a lot of 5k runners who got lost. It was really disappointing, much more upon knowing that I placed 7th overall, but the medal reward is still too far from my reach!

After the race with Ms. Nicole of Agatep

My girls who conquered the trails.

Race Profile:
Distance: 5 km. Trail Run
Official Time: 01:12:16
Official Ranking: 7th out of 83 overall 5k runners

Race Info:
When: Apr. 17, 2010.
Where: Wawa Dam, Montalban, Rizal
Event: Merrell Adventure Run 2010

Me at the finish line! Say "where?"

Give me my medal, please?

You may download the Official race results here.


  1. kakaawa naman yung mukha ng babae na nasa likod mo dun sa pic na naka-peace sign ka.haha

  2. Your girls? Da who??

    Congratulations Pedz! I am on you when you told me in the starting line na 'mananalo ako'. If not for the two ribbons tied in the wrong route, you could have won not only the medal :)

  3. @James, hahaha... she's one of the lead packs for the girl category. She keeps on telling me to go on as I was on the 5th place.

  4. @Minnie, I never realized you never were a girl, hahaha kidding!

    Yeah, I was really feeling good for a place that time, just so unlucky with the turn out because of the wrong markers.

  5. awww..bakit hindi ako kasama sa mga "d girls" mo, *tampo*..hehehe
    I was also expecting that you go onstage to receive your place, babawi tayo, hehehe..:)

  6. @Juvy, kasama ka, un nga lang hindi ka nakatingin sa camera, look at the photo. hehehe!

  7. Great finish, Alfred! Syanga naman, where is the medal?:-)

  8. @Sir Rene, great finish and a great race with such great challenge too! The medal's still with the race organizer though :p

    @Ms. Julie, thank you very much!

  9. WoWoWee man Congratulations, just like how the lady on the show says. lol. You are hauling @$$. COngrats on your first trail race. Mine is coming up in June of this year. Love the Pics as well. That course looks very challenging for a first. lol. But you made it along with your running buddies. Your certainly were a Running Atom (bomb). Take care my friend. God Bless. Look forward to the next adventures.

  10. @Sir Kenley, thank you very much for your admiring words, though I hope I really am a bomb, lol!
    Will it be your first trail run on June? Good luck on your first and I know you can do it.

    God bless you too and I know we'll see you soon!

  11. Congratulations!

    I hope I could join a trail run someday. Hope it won't conflict with my sched.

  12. Congratulations!
    Ang galing naman (both trail run and TBR DM).
    Bicolano ka din pala.
    My husband and I hailed from Naga City-Cam Sur.
    Tayong mga promdi ay may konting edge pagdating sa trail run- cguro kasi normal na satin mag laro sa bundok at sa mga ilog pag summer or weekend...KAYA khit alang practice kayang mag hop sa mga bato kahit alang vibram ang shoes LOL!

    Nice post!


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